All good things must come to an end; for Yellowcard, their self-titled 10th album serves as a love letter and heartfelt goodbye to their loyal fan-base. After 20 unforgettable years, the Florida natives’ parting gift is an everlasting finale to an illustrious career that moved countless numbers of people.
Yellowcard, not shockingly, is album driven by resolution and the theme unveils itself in the opening track and lead single, “Rest In Piece.” Vocalist Ryan Key’s lyrics, “If this was the last time that we would ever speak – could we forgive somehow, could we let it rest in peace?” sets the tone for what is to follow and eloquently addresses his emotions toward personal relationships over the years, but also fans. Like “Rest In Piece,” each track magically speaks to a different audience all while voicing the same message and meaning – love, friendship, regret.
The opening track seamlessly transitions into the thumping “What Appears,” introducing ears to the album’s first heavier song and diverting listener’s sappy thoughts. Overall, the track’s heaviness and powerful drum riffs create a song that’s not commonplace with Yellowcard and it’s beautiful. “Got Yours” picks up where “What Appears” leaves off and carries the momentum for an additional three minutes and change. Key exclaims “Stacking bricks on broken ground, building towers to watch them come back down!” – another example of an inevitable end that surfaces at some point in everyone’s life.
The sorrow remerges in “A Place We Set Afire,” arguably the most encompassing track on the instant-classic album. While the song pumps the brakes a little in regards to tempo in comparison to the two previous tracks, Key sends an uppercut to the gut with his tear-inducing chorus.
We don’t have to say goodbye / But we can’t get lost in time / I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine / Maybe in another life.
If there’s a song on Yellowcard that pulls all the emotions together, “A Place We Set Afire” is it. It feels like their swan song sandwiched between the band’s glistening start and reflective closing.
Yellowcard‘s second single, “The Hurt Is Gone” enters the fold on the second half of the record. Unlike the single, the album’s version finishes with two and a half minutes of acoustic strumming, drawn out in a way that allows the listener to reflect on memories they’ve shared with the band’s music following the gloomy lyrics, “Change comes for you / Even if you’re hiding out… hang on ’til the hurt is gone.“
Just before fully engrossing yourself in those memories, the power and energy strikes with “Empty Street.” It’s the start of Yellowcard’s curtain call with Key officially saying “goodbye.” It’s opening lyrics paint a picture that’s easily imaginable and if you hang onto each word, the impact of Yellowcard begins to finally set in.
Boxing up the fireworks / Cancel my parade / The street is empty tonight, tonight / Everything is quiet now / The city holds its breath for me / Their spirit has died, it died.
Yellowcard makes a statement and faultlessly illustrates the band’s mindset at this point in their career. No, the energy that the band once poured into their albums isn’t present all the way through, but lyrically Yellowcard couldn’t have written Yellowcard any better. It’s chapter 10 in the band’s book – a worthwhile finale to one of the greatest and most memorable stories in the history of pop-punk.